Skin Stem Cells: Benefits, Types, Medical Applications and …

August 1st, 2015 12:41 pm

Our skin has the amazing capability to renew itself throughout our adult life. Also, our hair follicle goes through a cycle of growth and degeneration. This happens all the time in our skin even though we are not aware of it. However, even though skin renews itself we still have to help it a little bit to get better results. Stem cells play an important role in this process of skin renewal or hair growth and the purpose of this article is to discuss and provide additional information about these tiny cells that play a big part in our life.

Skin stem cell is defined as multipotent adult skin cells which are able to self-renew or differentiate into various cell lineages of the skin. These cells are active throughout our life via skin renewal process or during skin repair after injuries. These cells reside in the epidermis and hair follicle and one of their purposes is to ensure the maintenance of adult skin and hair regeneration.

The truth is, without these little cells, our skin wouldnt be able to cope with various environmental influences. Our skin is exposed to different influences 24/7, for example, washing your face with soap, going out during summer or cold winter days etc. All these factors have a big impact on our skin and it constantly has to renew itself to stay in a good condition. This is where skin stem cells step in. They make sure your skin survives the influence of constant stress, heat, cold, even makeup, soap, etc.

Our skin is quite sensitive and due to its constant exposure to different influences throughout the day, it can get easily damage. Damage to skin cells can be caused by pretty much everything, from soap to cigarette smoke. One of the most frequent skin cell damages are the result of:

Skin stem cells are still subjected to scientific projects where researchers are trying to discover as much as possible about them. So far, they have identified several types of these cells, and they are:

Also, some scientists suggest that there is another type of stem cells mesenchymal stem cells which can be found in dermis (layer situated below the epidermis) and hypodermis (innermost and the thickest layer of the skin). However, this claim has been branded controversial and is a subject of many arguments and disputes between scientists. It is needed to conduct more experiments to find out whether this statement really is true.

Stem cells are found in many organs and tissues, besides skin. For example, scientists have discovered stem sells in brain, heart, bone marrow, peripheral blood, skeletal muscle, teeth, liver, gut etc. Stem cells reside in a specific area of each tissue or organ and that area is called stem cell niche. The same case is with the skin as well.

The ability of stem cells to regenerate and form almost any cell type in the body inspired scientists to work on various skin products that contain stem cells. Also, they decided to investigate the effect of plant stem cells on human skin. They discovered that plant stem cells are, actually, very similar to human skin stem cells and they function in a similar way as well. This discovery made scientists turn to plants as the source of stem cells and are trying to include them into the skin products due to their effectiveness in supporting skins cellular turnover. Another similarity between plant stem cells and human skin stem cells is their ability to develop according to their environment.

Fun Fact: The inspiration to use plant stem cells in skin care came from an unusual place almost extinct apple tree from Switzerland.

The benefits of plant stem cells on human skin are versatile. They offer possibility to treat some skin conditions, heal wounds, and repair the skin after some injury faster than it would usually take. Also, they bring back elasticity to the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and slow down the aging process.

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Skin Stem Cells: Benefits, Types, Medical Applications and ...

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